It has been three years and three months since the opening of our new and expanded rooms in the Playoust Building at Hawker Place. There is always some element of risk involved in any attempt to grow and diversify and while it has been a challenging time, it has also been a very rewarding one. I am very grateful to all those who have supported my new venture. This includes my wonderful staff, the local doctors who support the practice and of course our very loyal clients.
It has been some months since my last newsletter so I thought it might be a good idea to review the practice and the services that we offer.
There are now eight physiotherapists (five full time) in the practice including published expert in men and women’s continence and pelvic pain, Dr Irmina Nahon. Julia MacDonald (currently on maternity leave) is undertaking higher training in this area as well and is being mentored by Irmina. Julia is also now fully certified as a clinical Pilates instructor through the Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute (APPI) with extra training in pre and post natal Pilates along with Grant Sutherland.
Last year Ashley Wiley completed her extensive training in the management of complex lymphoedema. She is now fully certified in this area (including lymphoedema management of the head, neck and genitalia) and available for private clients and those who require treatment while waiting for an appointment in the public system. Ashley is one of only a few fully certified Lymphoedema physiotherapists in Canberra.
As many of you already know, Grant Sutherland combines 12 years of experience as an exercise physiologist, strength and conditioning coach and certified clinical Pilates instructor with his physiotherapy degree. His broad knowledge base, professionalism and teaching skills have added immeasurable depth to the practice. Grant has also had training in addressing men’s continence issues and he hopes to complete his Level 3 sports physiotherapy training over the next year.
Natalie Frizzell joined the team a year ago. She is a state touch footy representative and hoping to make the national team this year. Natalie has excellent manual therapy skills which she put into good use during her travel with Nitro Circus prior to commencing at Hawker Place Physiotherapy & Pilates. Natalie is also a certified APPI Instructor and hopes to complete Level 3 Sports Physiotherapy as well as commence Masters of Sports Physiotherapy this year.
Uta Mitchell, who has been with the practice for many years as a general musculoskeletal physiotherapist, will continue to work on a part-time basis, providing exceptional care in her field. Liz Abbott, who previously owned her own practice with Dr Angela Fearon (The Hip Physio) also works on a casual basis sharing her wealth of experience and knowledge with the rest of us.
One of our team projects last year was to become proficient in basic plastering and synthetic casting so we could provide an additional and, I believe, much needed service for our medical colleagues and the community. Five of us completed this very practical course run by Patricia Evans through the Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Group.
This year we had an outstanding new graduate join the team, Alexandra Long. Alex completed her honours year at Canberra University in 2016 and her research paper will shortly be published; ‘The use of Pilates Exercise to Improve Balance and Reduce Falls Risk in Healthy Older Adults’. Alex has settled in well and is undertaking weekend trips to Sydney to complete her APPI Clinical Pilates Certification. She has already found the wonderful repertoire of exercises useful for prescribing to many of her physiotherapy clients.
Since the transition and reestablishment of the practice to new rooms at the end of 2013, I have continued my own study. Apart from becoming the first fully certified APPI Clinical Pilates Practitioner in Canberra, I completed several courses in dynamic hip stabilisation and lower limb tendinopathies as well as the use of real time ultrasound for assessing hip muscle function. Last year I also completed my advanced certificate in the management of temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD/TMJ) under Mark Latimer in Melbourne as well as my advanced certificate in ‘Better Breathing Techniques’ (including the Buteyko Method) under Tess Graham. My current focus is on osteoporosis and I have commenced a blog to provide information about this important area to those who are interested but have no medical training.
All of my colleagues and I are committed to ongoing professional development and establishing our practice as a centre of learning and excellence. We also provide clinical placements and mentorships for Physiotherapy students from the University of Canberra.
Now, for a catch up on the social scene at HPP&P.
Julia and Mark had a gorgeous baby girl Elle (Emanuelle) on Boxing day. There are some pics on HPP&P Facebook. We aren’t sure when Julia will be back – it might be hard tearing her away from baby Elle just yet but she will probably be back even for some Pilates classes in a month or so.
Grant and Nicole have bought a new property large enough to establish a huge vegetable garden and with plenty of room for their two huge dogs-that-think-they’re-humans to roam around in. The truth is they don’t want to roam – they prefer the indoors and need to be enticed outdoors.
I have a few adventures coming up this year. In June I am heading overseas to South Africa with John. I will be attending a course (Head and Neck with Diane Lee) being held at Kapama Lodge at Kruger National Park. Then we head to Cape Town for the World Physiotherapy Conference and a real time ultrasound course. In November I am heading to New York for the New York Marathon. This will be my first marathon (I have done a few half marathons) and my journey will be documented along the way in my blog called ‘Jennie’s Joggings’.